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Shed 4

A little bit about my car - an Audi TT - and the daft things I've done to it because... boredom?

I'm lucky enough to own a 2005 Mk1 Audi TT - basically a Mk4 Golf in a dress with impractically-small rear seat space. I've had it for a little over two years now and its been a lot of fun to own and work on.

It's a four-wheel-drive model with Volkswagen's 3.2 litre VR6 engine powering it, and a flappy-paddle semi-automatic gearbox, which means that if I were a hairdresser (and I'm not mainly because I'm not safe around sharp things like scissors...), I would be able to get from appointment to appointment very quickly, accompanied by a very nice exhaust note.

I call my car "Shed" because, before this car, I owned no less than three Ford Fiestas, all of which were in various states of repair. The first was the least-tidy, and ended its life spray-painted black (by me); because of its slightly tatty appearance, I christened it "Shed". Subsequent cars were logically known as Sheds 2 and 3, and as the Audi is my fourth car, I call it Shed 4.

Giraffes on Shed's dash pod.

Bits I've changed

This page was last updated whilst several ciders past the point where it's safe to operate heavy machinery on roughly the 14th September 2018

The main changes I've made to it are handling upgrades; this is because, as standard, the V6 TT with the auto gearbox is very very nose-heavy (and generally heavy, too, at 1.6 tonnes), so it's infamous for understeering and generally being a bit of a sod to handle.

These upgrades include...

  • Replacing as many of its knackered rubber suspension bushes with polyurethane bushings; most of the replacement bushes are the same hardness (durometer) rating as the original bushes, but should take a lot longer to wear out, if at all. A couple of bushes such as the front suspension top mounts have been replaced with harder polyurethane to further tighten the front-end up,
  • Uprating the anti-rollbars with H&R's thicker jobbies,
  • A Pipercross panel filter, because why not? ;o)
  • Fitting Cookbot front bush upgrades,
  • Fitting four Cookbot adjustable rear tie-bars to allow the rear geometry to be aligned properly,
  • Braided brake hoses all round,
  • Eibach coilovers all round fitted March 2017, with uprated front springs to counteract the additional weight from the VR6 engine, fitted September 2018
  • A 330mm CompBrake rear brake upgrade (which I admit are as much for looks as for the increase in breaking force). This is quite a change from the stock 258mm brakes - fitted June 2018
  • HPA Touch Motion Controller to allow the Haldex rear-wheel drive system to be customised through a touch screen. This gadget adds a shiny touch-screen to the dashboard which lets me turn up or down the amount of power sent to the rear wheels - fitted June 2018
  • Wavetrac limited-slip differentials front and rear - these gadgets prevent wheelspin when one wheel on an axle loses grip, which helps the car put the power down much more reliably - new July 2018
  • A modified Milltek 3 inch exhaust system designed for the turbo variants of the TT to improve the exhaust sound a bit - new August 2018
  • Replacing the standard two-piston front brake calipers with a pair of the dramatically-titled Hi-Spec Mega-Monster Six six-piston calipers and Pagid RST1 pads - fitted September 2018

A few other odds and ends have been changed, mainly for cosmetic reasons, because I'm vain like that... =o)

  • Steering wheel re-trimmed in black leather and alcantara with red stitching by Royal Steering Wheels,
  • A pair of bum-hugging Cobra Misano Lux seats in black leather and black alcantara,
  • Audi Mk2 TT split seven spoke-style 19x8 alloys with Goodyear Eagle rubber, fitted with H&R hubcentric adaptors to convert the TT's 5x100 57mm centre wheels to the Mk2's 5x112 66mm centre bore,
  • Headlight projectors upgraded to Chinese 55w fast-bright ballasts with bi-xenon projectors,
  • Almost all bulbs changed to LEDs where practical and safe (high-beams are still halogen, for example, because they're more reliable and barely ever used),
  • Home-brew removable stainless bar and luggage net to make a bit more of the boot space,
  • Extra-posh thick pile carpet floor mats, because squidgy is awesome of course,
  • Obligatory dash-cam to record my swearing, singing and general stupidity behind the wheel,
  • Double-DIN head unit adaptor from Germany with a Pioneer touch-screen headunit with Apple Carplay and Android Auto capability. I've also added USB sockets for the head-unit, and an additional two sockets which are fast-charging only for other gadgets,
  • All original (tatty) badges removed; black Audi emblems fitted front and rear, and a black Mk2 TT badge fitted to the tailgate,
  • The front grilles (which were originally bare black ABS plastic from the factory) sprayed gloss black, and the blanking plate in the right-hand lower grill removed - this extra airflow will be directed to the front-right brake caliper when I get round to adding some ducting, or possibly a side-mount intercooler ("SMIC") if I ever go forced-induction...
  • Probably various other odds and ends fiddled-with that I can't remember right now, too...

Probably not coming soon, unless I win the lottery several times over...

  • HGP Germany turbo conversion, taking the engine from 250 to 450 BHP. But I can dream :)
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... and bits I've broked

Things which have broken or are on their way out include...

  • The aircon evaporator - buried deep inside the dash - has leaked since I bought the car. Stupidly, I didn't realise until I'd had the car just over a year, at which point the aftermarket warranty I was "encouraged" to buy by the garage salesman had expired. So, Shed had no aircon until I spent 2 days during the 2018 heatwave pulling out all the dash and heater box, replacing the aircon evaporator, and tidying up the heater box internals which were covered in a layer of brittle acoustic foam which had started to disintegrate, affecting the heater box's ability to separate the hot and cold air sections. The secret repair part was - probably unsurprisingly - gaffer tape. Hopefully it will survive the heat, damp and cold conditions in the heater box for another ten years...
  • Front left driveshaft replaced as the outer CV joint started seizing at full-lock - this seems to be because a previous owner left a split CV boot gaitor for several months, running the joint almost completely dry :-(
  • Windscreen wipers were quite slow, so I greased up the mechanism and electrical connections to get it back to normal speed,
  • Uhhm... That's actually about it as far as I can remember :-)

I might, if I stop being a lazy sod, post up a couple of pictures of all of these time-wasting changes I've made on Shed over the last three-or-so years.

Then again, maybe I should just get out and drive the damned thing :-)

/Alex

Lavender plants in pots in Shed's passenger footwell
I have also fitted a high-performance lavender air-freshener in Shed...